In the documentary from Mexico cameras follow Mauro Zamora, manager of a seafood restaurant, and his partner Juan who are getting married not to prove something but to support each other. It was pretty much love at first sight for the two when they met seven years prior to this. Rainbow colors fly as we ease on down the road to the Gay Pride parade in Mexico City where we find Jorge Sosa from The Metropolitan Community Reconciliation Church. The church he leads has been allowing gay couples to wed for the past 25 years. While society claims that the church is trying to convert the congregation, in defense they state that they only want respect for everyone.
The movie flashes back and forth following the history of Jorge’s journey through school and his feelings for people of his same gender. He was bullied when he was younger and that shaped him into the person that he is today. He was forced to become a member of the Cub Scouts by his family and was not treated well. Images are shown of a beautiful Catholic chapel while Jorge recounts the embarrassment of a priest telling him to stop his “queer” behavior. He left the church at that point vowing to never return. Bouncing back to Mauro and Juan’s wedding day there are some touching moments together with their family as the moment draws closer.
Jorge finally meets Father Miguel who changes his mind about religion and the capacity to love. He rises from the ashes to make his refuge an “oasis” for people to find water to drink. Where they can learn about transmissions of diseases without shame. Jorge speaks of celibacy and the hypocrisy of the fundamentalist church.
At times the movie can be a little one sided on the debate but when David has to battle a Goliath of this size then it’s fair to root for the underdog. Jorge knows how to defend himself and his followers. It is a joy to watch him stand up and be counted as he prepares to fight politics and the hierarchy. For him and his people it is a matter of life and death as they watch people around them suffer.
Being a documentary adds weight to this endeavor as we watch a moment of celebration not of bigotry. With civil unions recently passed in Illinois it is a perfect time to watch this offering at the Latino Film Festival.
The film gives hope that one day the church and homosexual outsiders will come together at some point in the future. Everyone deserves a little dignity and respect no matter how you feel about the debate.
You are cordially invited to the union of Blattangelus and Another Essay on April 6, 4:30 pm and April 7, 8:15 at Landmark Century Cinema, 2828 N Clark. Visit www.chicagolatinofilmfestival.org for tickets and more selections during the festival.